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Isaac Boleslavsky vs Anatoly Ufimtsev
"g2, Joy of Man's Desiring" (game of the day Mar-08-2014)
URS-ch sf (1944), Omsk URS
French Defense: Rubinstein Variation (C10)  ·  0-1



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Given 8 times; par: 30 [what's this?]

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find similar games 1 more Boleslavsky/Ufimtsev game
sac: 21...Rxg2+ PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black will gain a rook to have rook + queen vs 3 minor pieces.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Last Sunday puzzle of the year, last POTD of the year, period. I see I visited this game before, over 6 years ago, but no memory of so. I didn't even try to solve this puzzle.

I might be ending the year on a bad note, but Jan/01 is a Monday, so I should start it off well. After all, it's not how you finish, it's how you start. Right?

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: Already knew Ufimtsev's Evergreen, so no credit for me. Finished the last full week of 2017 with 5/6 (missed Saturday). Happy New Year, all!
Dec-31-17  mel gibson: I actually saw the first move &
I could see that White would be in all sorts of trouble.

The computer says:

20. Qa5 Rhg8 (20. .. Rhg8 (♖h8-g8 ♘f3-h4 ♖g4xg2+ ♘h4xg2 ♘e4-d2 ♕a5-g5 ♖g8xg5 ♗e3xg5 f6xg5 b2-b4 ♗d6xh2+ ♔g1xh2 ♘d2xf1+ ♔h2-g1 ♕b6-d4 ♖a1-c1 ♗b7xg2 ♔g1xg2 ♘f1-e3+ f2xe3 ♕d4-d2+ ♔g2-f3 ♕d2xc1 ♗d1-e2 ♕c1-h1+ ♔f3-f2 ♕h1-h4+ ♔f2-f1 ♕h4-g3 e3-e4 ♕g3-f4+) +11.83/18 298)

score for Black +11.83 depth 18

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <thegoodanarchist: Here it is on youtube>. Thanks, but I like the original arrangement better.
Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: I didn't need the pun to see that g2 was central to the solution, but my combination doesn't quite work: 20...Bxh2+ 21. Nxh2 Rxg2+ 22. Kxg2 Rg8+ 23. Kh1 Nxf2#. The trouble with this line is that none of white's moves are forced.

Black has attacking possibilities in the alternative lines, but I don't see a win in any of them.

Dec-31-17  Steve.Patzer: Sorry that I am unable to see the proper sequence after 20....Rhg8 21. Bxb6. At times I think I see it, but then I don‘t.
Dec-31-17  Muttley101: <Steve.Patzer: Sorry that I am unable to see the proper sequence after 20....Rhg8 21. Bxb6. At times I think I see it, but then I don‘t.>

Of course you're right- black poses the question "My queen is attacked, I ignore it with 20 ... Rhb8." So what is the answer to 21. Bxb6?

I saw this: 21 ... Rxg2+ 22. Kh1 (forced) 22 .. Rxh2+ 23. Nxh2 (forced) 23 ... Nf2++ and mate.

Happy new year :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  al wazir: <Steve.Patzer: I am unable to see the proper sequence after 20....Rhg8 21. Bxb6.> The continuation is essentially the same as the combination I posted: 21...Rxg2+ 22. Kh1 Rxh2+ 23. Nxh2 Nxf2#.
Dec-31-17  Steve.Patzer: Thank you, I had difficulty seeing that Nxf2 was double check. I kept thinking Bxf2.
Dec-31-17  Walter Glattke: 24.f3 Qxe3+ 25.Kh1 Nf2+ 26.Rxf2 Qxf2
and Qxg2#
Premium Chessgames Member
  agb2002: This impressive game is featured on pages 44-45 of Alexander Koblenz's "Ajedrez de entrenamiento".
Dec-31-17  Muttley101: <Steve.Patzer> You're welcome, and thank you for asking the question. I wouldn't have looked if you hadn't asked. There are a range of techniques in this combination that will benefit any chess player to learn. Asking questions is very useful imho- its surprising how much we might take for granted which might, quite simply, not hold up to a more circumspect examination.
Dec-31-17  thegoodanarchist: <al wazir: <thegoodanarchist: Here it is on youtube>. Thanks, but I like the original arrangement better.>

I'm not surprised.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: A surprisingly violent game to come from the usually quiet Rubinstein French. I could never get that opening to work for me despite a few year's of trying.

As to the puzzle, I guessed it was either the immediate Rxg2 or Rhg8 intending Rxg2. But would I have had the cojones or calculation skills to play it over the board? Nope.

Dec-31-17  leRevenant: I have a friend in Minsk,
Who has a friend in Pinsk,
Whose friend in Omsk
Has friend in Tomsk
With friend in Akmolinsk.
His friend in Alexandrovsk
Has friend in Petropavlovsk,
Whose friend somehow
Is solving now
The problem in Dnepropetrovsk.
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: A Rubenstein French actually wins !!!! Can't believe it.
Dec-31-17  malt: 20...Rhg8 looks stronger
Than 20.R:g2+ K:g2 leads nowhere
(21.B:b6 R:g2+ 22.Kh1 N:f2+ 23.R:f2
[23.B:f2 R:h2#]...Rg1# )
Dec-31-17  LucB: <leRevenant>: good song!

Dec-31-17  5hrsolver: There's too many lines here but here is my solution for what it's worth. Great game by the way.

20...Rhg8 21. Ne1 Rxg2+ 22. Nxg2 Nxf2 23. Bf3 Bxf3 24. Kxf2 Rxg2+ 25. Kxf3 Qc6+ 26. Qd5 exd5 27. Kxg2 d4+ and wins the bishop. Black has queen and bishop for two rooks and more pawns.

Dec-31-17  morfishine: Wonderful play by Black, White collapsed like dominoes, when the first one fell, there's no stopping them until they are all down


Dec-31-17  ughaibu: <White collapsed like dominoes, when the first one fell, there's no stopping them until they are all down>

But there was only one white!?!

Dec-31-17  mel gibson: White made his mistake on
19. Qd2

The move should have been 19. g2-g3
which blocks the black bishop from the
h2 square & also defends against the double Rook attack.

Old chess advice -
always defend against Bishops bearing down on the King. The 3 pawns in front of the King provide great defense & should be used.

19. Qd2 (19.g3 (g2-g3 h7-h5 ♘f3-d4 ♖g4-g8 ♘d4-b5 h5-h4 g3-g4 a7-a6 b2-b4 a6xb5 c4xb5 ♔c8-d7 b4xc5 ♗d6xc5 ♕e2-d2+ ♔d7-e7 ♗d1-e2 ♖h8-h5 ♗e3xc5+ ♖h5xc5 ♖f1-d1) +0.51/17 114

score for White +0.51 depth 17

Instead White went on a wild counter attack with the Queen before he was adequately defended.

Dec-31-17  patzer2: Missed today's Sunday new year's eve (20...?) puzzle, because with the White Bishop threatening the Black Queen all I could think of was playing it safe with 20...Bc5 = (0.00 @ 29 ply, Stockfish 8).

Instead, the game move and puzzle solution 20...Rhg8!! leaves the Black Queen perfectly safe as 20...Rhg8!! 21. Bxb6 forces White to yield to mate-in-three after 21...Rxg2+ 22. Kh8 Nxf2+ (or 22...Rxh2+ 23. Nxh2 Nxf2#) 23 .Bxf2 (23. Rxf2 Rxh2#) 23...Rxh2#.

Once White sees the mating threat, the rest of the combination involves finding the most efficient way for Black to win in the face of a number of defensive tries.

According to Stockfish 8, the most difficult defense is 21. Ne1 which Black efficiently wins against in the game with 21...Rxg2+ 22. Nxg2 Nd2 -+ (-18.37 @ 27 ply).

Though it's easy for a computer to defeat, 21. g3 might be a difficult defense for a club player as it's not so simple to find mate-in-15 with 21. g3 Bxg3! 22. hxg3 Rxg3+ 23. Kh2 Qd6 24. Ne5 Rg2+ 25. kh3 fxe5 26. Bf3 Ng5+ 27. Bxg5 Bxf3 28. Qxa7 R2xg5 29. Qa8+ Bxa8 30. Rxa8 Kb7 31. Ra7+ Kxa7 32. Ra1+ Kb7 33. Ra7+ Kxa7 34. Kh4 Rg1 35. f4 Rh1#.

As <mel Gibson> observes, 19. Qd2? allowing 19...Ne4 ∓ (-0.84 @ 30 ply, Stockfish 8) is a mistake which turns the game in Black's favor. Instead, 19. g3 h5 20. Qd2 = (0.00 @ 32 ply, Stockfish 8) holds it level.

According to Stockfish 8, the decisive mistake is 20. Qa5?, allowing our Sunday puzzle solution 20...Rhg8!! -+ (-18.37 @ 27 ply).

Instead, 20. Qd3 Qc7 21. Rxa7 Bxh2+ 22. Nxh2+ Rxg2+ 23. Kxg2 Rg8+ 24. Bg5 Nxg5+ 25. Rxb7 Qxb7+ 26. f3 Nxf3+ 27. Kh3 Nxh2 28. Rf2 Rd8 29. Qa3 Rxd1 30. Rxf6 Rd7 31. Qf8+ Kc7 32. Rxf7 Qb3+ 33. Kxh2 Qxb2+ 34. Kh3 Qc3+ 35. Rf3 Qe5 36. Qf6 Qe1 37. Qf8 = (-0.12 @ 35 ply) appears to yield near level chances in a difficult heavy piece endgame.

P.S.: Regarding the pun <G2 of Man's Desiring,> in reference to Bach's musical piece "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," my favorite instrumental and voice rendition is that of Celtic Woman at An instrumental orchestra version of the piece can be heard at A traditional choir and orchestra version, as Bach likely intended, can be heard at

Jun-29-18  cehertan: Amazing game by a unique talent. Where are all his games? How can it be that someone whose name is often attached to a major opening variation has less games on cg than I do? Hats off to a creative and fearless fighter.
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